Books: I’ve loved them from the time I can remember. When I was in grade school my mother brought me to our small town Carnegie library where I spent joy-filled hours exploring books to bring home. They only allowed twelve check outs at a time. Each week my stack was consumed, enjoyed, dreamed over.
When I was old enough, I rode my bicycle to the library and filled my basket with longed for adventures—mysteries, historical fiction, horse stories… especially horse stories. I’d pedal home with my treasures, plop on my bed and read, read, read.
I loved the Maude Hart Lovelace series set in Deep Valley (my town of Mankato, Minnesota). Betsy, Tacy, and Tib were more real to me than any playmates. As Betsy matured in the series, so did I. Lovelace wrote about streets I knew, places I could visit. I even found some character’s graves in the cemetery near my home. In the 1990’s the Betsy-Tacy Society purchased Betsy’s house to commemorate the Maud Hart Lovelace legacy. A few years later Tacy’s house was purchased. “This Old House” (PBS series) restoration of Tacy’s house to its 1890’s appearance caused my father to check out the action. It was only then my dad told me he had lived in Tacy’s house when he was a young boy. Who knew? Perhaps my attraction to the characters was genetic!
Pleasure reading declined in high school and college. I spent spare hours with friends, part-time work and studying. I did read stories, but mostly required reading for English, history, religion, philosophy, science, psychology etc. No time for fiction.
I had a longing for spiritual things. I read about many religions and philosophies. For my Macalester College Religion class I did a research project on the Jesus Movement in California. I found my heart’s desire, a relationship with the living God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit. My life changed. My love for books increased. I read hundreds of books mostly about the Christian life, along with the Bible, which I had never read before. I love that Jesus was a story teller, stories that paint pictures with layers of meaning.
I earned a Respiratory Therapy degree before marrying my wonderful husband, Tim. I worked for a couple of years at the local hospital, and then became pregnant with my first child. I soon realized fainting at inopportune times did not contribute to good hospital care.
Once I became a mom, my favorite free activity was going to the library for children’s reading time. The four kids (and I) picked out piles of books to bring home and read. We’d make up stories, too, especially on long road trips. Long after the kids could read for themselves, we read family stories aloud (like the C.S. Lewis Narnia series).
Once all my kids were in school, I had a hankering to finish my Bachelor’s degree. When my oldest son began college at Minnesota State University-Mankato, I enrolled too. I loved Literature and Creative Writing classes. I even loved writing formal papers. I changed my science major to English and achieved my goal of a Bachelor’s degree. Huzzah!
Now, my children are grown and on their own. I am beginning a new phase of loving books, writing them as well as reading them. I’m reaching back to my roots—fiction. I relish the research required for historical fiction. I enjoy writing about relationships that cross time barriers and incorporate spiritual awareness. I also love writing kids books, and Fibonacci poetry (my latest craze).